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Will Bran commit the third abomination?


Maegor_the_Cool

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As we all know, he has committed 2 of the 3 abominations so far. Eating human flesh while skin changing, and skin changing into a human. The 3rd being fornicating while skin changing. Could it be something like him being in Summer and mating with another wolf, or something even darker due to his entering puberty (I hope what I’m trying to imply gets across because it upsets me too much to say it)

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1 minute ago, Craving Peaches said:

Hopefully not. But it might happen anyway.

If he does what the theory I heard says he could do, I just would wish for him to die. Like after being with him through so much I couldn’t ever really hate him, but I’d just be utterly disgusted by him. If he goes that far I don’t see how anyone could even attempt to come back from that.

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None of those are nearly as abominable as fucking your own sibling. He’s also eaten human flesh while in his own skin. So what, I ask? He didn’t kill those men, they could have all starved to death, and he didn’t even know what he was eating. Would it matter if he’d eaten it knowing what it was, when the alternative would have been death? I don’t think so. Survival instinct and all that. 
And he will skinchange into humans again, and so he should. 

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Just now, Maegor Targaryen I said:

If he does what the theory I heard says he could do, I just would wish for him to die. Like after being with him through so much I couldn’t ever really hate him, but I’d just be utterly disgusted by him. If he goes that far I don’t see how anyone could even attempt to come back from that.

I hope it doesn't but so far the track record isn't looking good. I think the issue is that no one in the cave cares about maintaining Bran's morals. Jojen and Meera were worryingly absent in the last chapter and I don't think Bloodraven or the Children care very much.

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Just now, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes said:

Yes.  The direwolves would die out otherwise.  Ghost, Nymberia, and Summer will carry on the species.  The Starks' souls will live on in some way as well.  This is how the species must have survived when only a few remain after the Winter kill.  

I didn’t think the sire wolves were endanger, just lived exclusively north of the wall. A I’m pretty certain that the rest of the Stark children will survive the series, aside from maybe Jon, who will/could die at the climax.

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2 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

None of those are nearly as abominable as fucking your own sibling. He’s also eaten human flesh while in his own skin. So what, I ask? He didn’t kill those men, they could have all starved to death, and he didn’t even know what he was eating. Would it matter if he’d eaten it knowing what it was, when the alternative would have been death? I don’t think so. Survival instinct and all that. 
And he will skinchange into humans again, and so he should. 

The theory I’ve read involves Hodor and Meera.

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1 minute ago, kissdbyfire said:

None of those are nearly as abominable as fucking your own sibling. He’s also eaten human flesh while in his own skin. So what, I ask? He didn’t kill those men, they could have all starved to death, and he didn’t even know what he was eating. Would it matter if he’d eaten it knowing what it was, when the alternative would have been death? I don’t think so. Survival instinct and all that. 
And he will skinchange into humans again, and so he should. 

I don't think Bran will go down the dark path, but I am concerned that so far it doesn't look like his mentors in skinchanging are interested in maintaining his morals. Bran hasn't even been made aware of the skinchanging taboos.

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19 minutes ago, Maegor Targaryen I said:

The theory I’ve read involves Hodor and Meera.

That’s never happening.

18 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

I don't think Bran will go down the dark path, but I am concerned that so far it doesn't look like his mentors in skinchanging are interested in maintaining his morals. Bran hasn't even been made aware of the skinchanging taboos.

Morals are, yes, relative. The way I look at these so-called ‘abominations’ is similar to how I view vows like the NW vow and the KG vow. I see all these ‘unbreakable rules’ as guidelines. Because people are people and guidelines are needed. And if you don’t say that it’s ‘an abomination!!!’ or that the vows are to be followed and obeyed blindly at all times under penalty of death, those under the purview of each would feel like it’s almost ok to do these things, that it’s just frowned upon. So these rules are presented in the manner they are presented. But people, especially in a position of power, must be able of critical thinking. To paraphrase Jaime, ‘if the king asks you to saddle his horse, do it. If he asks you to kill his horse, come to me’. 
Killing is wrong, right? What if one individual has his finger on a button that will destroy the world and kill 8B people and obliterate all life, and someone has the opportunity to kill this person. Should they do it or shouldn’t they, given that killing is wrong, illegal, immoral? 
What if Bran skinchanges into someone who offer themselves up as a willing vessel? Is it still an ‘abomination’? What about the agency & free will of the person offering themselves up willingly? Shouldn’t they be allowed and entitled to do whatever they want with their own bodies/mind?
These arguments about abominations and broken vows and rigid rules that must never be broken are too simplistic for my taste. Things don’t really work like that, not on Earth and not on Planetos either. Just my 2p of course.

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12 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Shouldn’t they be allowed and entitled to do whatever they want with their own bodies/mind?

I think the argument there is that whoever was entering the mind, even consensually, would be corrupted by the power. Which would increase the risk of them trying to take control of unconsenting minds.

Now I am not saying that sticking rigidly to the taboos all the time is the best idea. But there must have been some reason for them to become taboo in the first place. I think Bran should at least be informed that they are taboo.

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10 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

I think the argument there is that whoever was entering the mind, even consensually, would be corrupted by the power. Which would increase the risk of them trying to take control of unconsenting minds.

I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. As with everything else, it very much depends on the persons and circumstances involved. Not everyone is corruptible. 
As the great Frank Herbert said, 

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.”

10 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Now I am not saying that sticking rigidly to the taboos all the time is the best idea. But there must have been some reason for them to become taboo in the first place. I think Bran should at least be informed that they are taboo.

Agree. I suppose Varamyr wasn’t the only despicable & deplorable skinchanger, and that the NW & KG and any other institutions that require blind obedience also had their fair share of deplorables. We have even met some, and I’m certain they weren’t the very first. And that’s why critical thinking is so important imo. 
I also agree that Bran should be informed and taught about all of this. 

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45 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

What if Bran skinchanges into someone who offer themselves up as a willing vessel? Is it still an ‘abomination’? What about the agency & free will of the person offering themselves up willingly? Shouldn’t they be allowed and entitled to do whatever they want with their own bodies/mind?

I think it's telling that so far GRRM has only included instances of unwilling human skinchanging. As a rule, he tends to ramp up the moral quandries as the story progresses, not get easier. We're already at the point where Hodor is left whimpering in his special place while Bran is inside him, as the boy vows that "no one can know."  I don't think GRRM would progress from that sort of psychic rape to something easier like a willing recipient.

Bran may reason that it's necessary to do what he does, but GRRM won't flinch or sugarcoat the costs of such decisions.

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1 hour ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I think it's telling that so far GRRM has only included instances of unwilling human skinchanging. As a rule, he tends to ramp up the moral quandries as the story progresses, not get easier. We're already at the point where Hodor is left whimpering in his special place while Bran is inside him, as the boy vows that "no one can know."  I don't think GRRM would progress from that sort of psychic rape to something easier like a willing recipient.

Bran may reason that it's necessary to do what he does, but GRRM won't flinch or sugarcoat the costs of such decisions.

Does he?

He initially presents cannibalism as something vile and disgusting, as evil in legends, or with the Mountain feeding prisoners at Harrenhal with the cooked limbs of their fellow prisoner. And well, under normal circumstances it very much is disgusting, in our world and Bran's. That's how GRRM portrays it initially - the most vile and worst way anyone can commit cannibalism or force other people to be cannibals.

But we don't condemn the survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 into the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972, for surviving on the remains of their fellow dead passengers, do we? And later on, in aDwD, George portrays it as basically the sole way to survive, in the most dire circumstances that we as society throughout history feel pity and empathy for those people who would otherwise never have eaten human flesh. I understand why Stannis wants to prevent his army starting to believe cannibalism is permissible: before long, soldiers will start killing one another to say "he's dead so we can eat him." As a commander of an army, you don't want soldiers to look at each other as potential food. But equally I cannot condemn those starving men for eating the flesh of a man who's dead already. I certainly do not condemn Bran for eating shifty "pork". And in that case we do have Coldhands who murdered living men to then distribute them as food, but the men murdered were vile mutineers who killed everybody in sight at Craster's and raped women. I don't mind Coldhands killing them for it and I consider their bodies a waste and a potential wight threat if not turned into food.

So, you're wrong. GRRM does not go "it gradually becomes worse". He goes from "that's vile normally" and then he gradually takes it to the philosophical ethical edge where he asks us, "How about now? Is it still vile?" like one of those typical moral dillemas, and in those particular circumstances we can regard it as a permissible exception to the "rule".

And yes, I am absolutely certain that he will do this for skinchanging a human. What Varamyr tried to do with Thistle was outright body snatching: the vile thing. What Bran does with Hodor is severely problematic, but it began in dire need to rescue them all: at Queenscrown to shut the frightened Hodor up so the wildlings would not detect them. The second time he did it to save them from the ambush of the wights in front of the cave. I'm not okay with him doing it to traipse after Meera and Jojen in the caves, but I can also recognize Bran is still a child who needs someone to guide him in empathy and recognizing where the barrier lies. If say Theon voluntarily opens his mind in awe and be Bran's remote voice, I would have zero issues with it. Just as I have zero issues with maester Luwin jumping in front of a spear to save Theon's life and then crawled all the way to the weirwood in the Godswood and asked for Osha to end his life right there and then.

As to the OP: Bran's a kid with at best a child crush. Without the 5 year jump, no I don't think George is going there for Bran. He relegated this to Arya's wolf dreams, with Nymeria fighting off any normal wolf trying to mount her, and by Nymeria killing and eating men she hunts. And Arya is unaware that these dreams are real events.

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:
2 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I think it's telling that so far GRRM has only included instances of unwilling human skinchanging. As a rule, he tends to ramp up the moral quandries as the story progresses, not get easier. We're already at the point where Hodor is left whimpering in his special place while Bran is inside him, as the boy vows that "no one can know."  I don't think GRRM would progress from that sort of psychic rape to something easier like a willing recipient.

Bran may reason that it's necessary to do what he does, but GRRM won't flinch or sugarcoat the costs of such decisions.

Does he?

I can go into your comment in more depth later, but I will just say, picking just one instance to go against an inferred tendency of GRRM's writing in a large series is not a very solid argument.

And flatly saying "so you're wrong" as if I am but a peon, is pretty damn rude. I expect better from my fellow commenters.

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6 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

So is ascribing your own words as if I wrote them. I ask you to edit your post, so your words (which I quoted) are not directly ascribed to my name as if I wrote them.

I'm having weird formatting issues. I'm not sure why you infer that to be rude as opposed to an error. The above edited format is the best I can do for now.

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2 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

 

I'm having weird formatting issues. I'm not sure why you infer that to be rude as opposed to an error. The above edited format is the best I can do for now.

Then simple delete the quote and @ me.

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@sweetsunray First off, when I mentioned this tendency of GRRM to go from easier variations of a dilemma to harder ones, I should have specified that what I was talking about pertained to individual character arcs. I am not talking about patterns across all of the characters.

I don't pretend to know what such progressions look like per issue over the full set of characters, because frankly, the books are too large and dense to make any type of assessment like that very practical.

Now, within Bran's arc, cannibalism certainly emerges as a motif, one that is arguably ramping up as the story progresses. But so far, it's mostly been outside of Bran's awareness, save for his eating of flesh while warging Summer. What I had been talking about were moral dilemmas that require the characters to make choices for action. It's certainly plausible to think that cannibalism may emerge as one such dilemma for Bran in future books, but so far it's not what I'm talking about, because he's mostly clueless about it all.

His warging people does pertain to his choices. Bran starts off warging Hodor without even really intending to do so. Then he uses it very briefly later on as a necessity to defend his friends. By Bran III ADWD he's doing it secretly, routinely, just to go out exploring. And we know that this violation is really traumatizing to Hodor. 

I concede that this doesn't look exactly like the moral dilemmas that Jon and Dany face, but Bran is much younger than they are. There is a progression from nearly accidental, to clearly necessary, to a temptation to escape Bran's very real frustrations. All the while the cost of such actions is getting clearer and clearer. GRRM never wants us to forget the costs, or to dismiss it as mere collateral damage.

 

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22 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

or pretend to be the almighty unique expert on George's writing.

Can you please point out the instances where I pretend I am the almighty unique expert on George's writing?

Do you really think the original comment you responded to was rude, cocky, or condescending? I am puzzled. It certainly wasn't written with that intention.

I really don't get the need for rudeness. I quite appreciate your takes on the text! And I'm completely fine with people having different interpretations of the text. I say that all the time.

You aren't so brusque with everyone, so I must ask, what do I do to deserve it in your opinion?

 

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